B A R R Y S O U T H G A T E Bring Change Somewhere. It’s an imperative known as the BCS Movement, a motto and a way of life. But before being embraced as such by thousands of supporters, it was a personal mission (and the initials) of its creator -- singer/songwriter Barry Southgate. It’s a concept that he pursues relentlessly through his music. And with the upcoming release of his debut solo project, Epitome, Southgate is eager to see it in action. For Southgate, music has been an obvious life course since childhood. Having grown up around music (his father and two younger brothers all play guitar and sing, while his mother recorded a gospel album with her church choir years ago), he has always been driven by a passion for touching lives through the stories that are already alive in the melodies he hears. But his journey has been anything but ordinary and predictable. A South African native, Barry Southgate moved with his family to New Zealand in his teen years before venturing on his own to Sydney, Australia, with the singing/dancing group, Jireh, in 2003. With the group, Southgate performed at the annual Parachute Festival (the largest Gospel music festival in the southern hemisphere) for two consecutive years, and barely wrapped a seventeen-date New Zealand tour before the group disbanded, turning down a record deal. The group’s split was a positive one, allowing its members to better pursue their individual goals, and Southgate wasted no time in doing so. Shortly thereafter, Barry Southgate became widely known as a Top 24 finalist on the second season of Australian Idol. His dynamic voice and striking good looks (Southgate is of African, German, Indonesian and English decent, and has modeled extensively) made him a clear favorite among judges and fans, alike. He was chosen as the only non-Top 12 or Wildcard contestant to perform at the show’s grand finale at the Sydney Opera House, televised and viewed by millions. Southgate’s time on Idol catapulted him from a virtual unknown to an in-demand singer, songwriter and on-air personality. In addition to working on over a dozen recording projects, Southgate hosted a PR tour for Channel Ten, and was a celebrity guest alongside Neighbours star Dan O' Connor for Telstra's Australian Idol media presentation. In one of his most memorable music experiences, Southgate performed before the Pope for World Youth Day '08, a televised event that reached half a billion people worldwide. Locally, Southgate has worked with some of Australia’s finest artists, including Guy Sebastian, Stan Walker, Delta Goodrem and Paulini. His songs have been featured on the debut album of Sasha-Lee (winner of South African Idol) and on LadyLike, the current album from German girl-band Monrose. Internationally, he continues to perform extensively with singer/songwriter/worship leader Darlene Zschech, and with Grammy Award-winning Israel & New Breed. But Barry Southgate is clear that it is time to step into his own. And he does so with the release of his first solo project. Epitome, his 7-track EP, is a fusion of pop and soul music -- an eclectic representation of Southgate's love of many genres, ranging from pop, rock and soul to gospel, country and classical. "You," for example, is an old-school R&B-styled groove inspired by Michael Jackson's "Off The Wall," while "Summer Night" features the hallmarks of great lyricism set to a powerful ballad. The project’s first single, “Don’t You Think?,” is a playful love song with an island vibe, and is already gaining radio airplay in New Zealand. Even with its varied influences and styles, Epitome remains a cohesive project, representing a snippet of the greater soundtrack of his life. To be sure, Barry Southgate has got plenty more music to share. Right now, he is merely scratching the surface. But what a significant scratch it is-- with a little something for everyone, Epitome introduces Southgate’s solo artistry to the world, positioning him to indeed Bring Change Somewhere… perhaps everywhere.